What would happen if you could no longer make decisions about your medical care because of a serious illness or injury? How would your family and health care providers know your wishes? You can take an active role in your health care before you become seriously ill by stating your health care preferences in writing, while you are still healthy and able to make such decisions. If you are a competent adult, Minnesota and federal laws give you the right to make health care decisions.
Advance Care Planning is the process of exploring, discussing, and documenting future healthcare preferences. This is an ongoing process that is called “advance” care planning because these conversations/documents are prepared in advance of a situation occurring in order to let your doctor, other health care providers, and your family, know your wishes concerning your medical treatment.
A Healthcare Directive is a legal document for which you state your preferences about medical treatment, including who would speak for you if you could not, and which treatment to accept, reject, or discontinue.
A recommended form (which is in compliance with MN, IA, SD, and ND law) and assistance with the advance care planning process are available at Sanford Worthington Medical Center. A certified advance care planning facilitator would be happy to help you at no cost to you.
For more information and/or to fill out an advanced directive, call (507) 372-3366.